Medication is saving lives across the county

The Hamilton County Health Department is taking proactive steps to combat the opioid crisis by training educators and staff in every school district on how to use Narcan, a life-saving medication that can reverse opioid overdoses.


“Unfortunately, an overdose can happen anywhere,” said Jim Ginder, a Health Education Specialist at the Health Department. “Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our community members, especially our youth. The opioid crisis has touched every corner of our county, and it’s essential that we equip our school staff with the necessary tools to respond effectively in case of an emergency.”

Opioids are a class of drugs that include prescription painkillers like oxycodone and hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin. When someone overdoses on opioids, their breathing can slow down or stop, which can be life-threatening. Narcan, also known by its generic name naloxone, is usually administered as a nasal spray and typically works within minutes by restoring normal breathing and consciousness to the individual who has overdosed.

“The opioid epidemic is a complex and ongoing public health crisis,” Ginder explained. “We’re committed to making sure all educators and staff in our county’s school districts can identify the signs of an overdose, administer Narcan, and provide critical support until emergency responders arrive.”

Westfield Washington Schools is among those who recognize the importance of the program.


“We are grateful to the Hamilton County Health Department for providing this essential training,” District Superintendent Dr. Paul Kaiser said. “Our top priority is the safety of our students, staff, and visitors, and having our educators trained to respond to opioid emergencies is a crucial step towards achieving that goal.”

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